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EU in danger of losing unity amid refugee crisis: Schulz

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament (AFP photo)

The European Union is in danger of losing unity due to the refugee influx, says the president of the European Parliament, calling for a united action to tackle the issue or suffer the consequences.

“The European Union is in danger. No one can say whether the EU will still exist in this form in 10 years,” Martin Schulz said Tuesday, warning that “forces” are emerging across Europe which could drive the 28-nation body apart.

Schulz said the EU should do its best to avoid such a fall, otherwise the consequences would be “dramatic.”

The German politician, who was speaking to the Die Welt newspaper, warned that the alternative to the current united EU would be a “Europe of nationalism, a Europe of borders and walls,” referring to an emerging approach of nation-based thinking in many European governments.

The EU has experienced in 2015 its worst refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 850,000 asylum seekers hitting the European shores and another record number expected for the next year. Most of the refugees are those escaping war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, with many blaming the Western countries and their policies for those problems.

Some EU members, especially those in east Europe, have strongly resisted the body’s mandatory quotas for relocation of the refugees and have already erected long lines of barricades and fences along their borders to stop more refugees from entering.

Refugees stand behind a fence at the Hungarian border with Serbia near the town of Horgos, September 16, 2015. (AFP photo)

Schulz said such a “fatal” nationalistic way of governance would return Europe to its catastrophic past.

“No country alone can handle challenges such as migration, climate change, terrorism, trade and international crime. We can only do it together, as the EU.” 

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